Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Inspired by Two Turtle Doves: Turtle Bars

I have never been a huge nut fan, but I do have a soft spot in my heart for turtles.  They were the Christmas candy I would always eat the fastest growing up, and I didn't even mind the pecans.  I also love cookies.  Especially easy-to-assemble bar cookies.  So when I thought of something that could go with "Two Turtle Doves," I decided to try making turtle bars.  This recipe is based loosely on various ones I've seen here and there, but I kind of just did my own thing, and was pretty darn pleased with the result.  I used refrigerated sugar cookie dough for simplicity's sake, but you could certainly make your own from scratch if you prefer.  Also, if you worry about the dental work that could result from eating chewy caramel (although no one in my family lost any fillings eating these), you could just drizzle caramel ice cream topping over these bars.  They will be a bit more messy, but still delicious, I'm sure.

Turtle Bars
1 roll refrigerated sugar cookie dough
5 oz. chopped pecans
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp. vanilla
20 caramels, unwrapped
2 Tbsp. milk
1 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a 9x13" pan, spread refrigerated cookie dough.  If the dough is a bit cold and stiff you can break it into four pieces then use your hands to work on one piece at a time to spread it evenly into pan (see picture below).

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Sprinkle pecans onto hot crust.  In a small bowl, mix sweetened condensed milk and vanilla.  Pour over crust and bake for 20-23 minutes to allow it to set up.  Cool for 10 minutes on wire rack.  Melt caramels and milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, just until melted (any longer and the caramel will be too hard.  Where It's Green will not be held responsible for any lost fillings due to eating too-hard caramel.)  Drizzle caramel over filling.  Sprinkle with chocolate chips.  Allow bars to cool completely before cutting.


  1. Impressive, dear sister! I'm not sure I'll actually get around to trying any of these--I'll be doing well to get Christmas dinner cooked--but I'm "virtually" delighted!

    P.S. Feel free to feature your kiddos as models ;)

  2. Why thank you, sister! And knowing you, your Christmas dinner will be delicious.
    P.S. I'm planning a photo filled post about the kiddos any day now, so stay tuned.